Sunday, September 01, 2013
IS MY DIETING DAMAGING MY NAILS?
I've always been kind of vain about my finger nails. They used to look like I had a French manicure without having to have one. My once beautiful nails have thinned badly and are cracking, chipping and tearing off at the quick. I did have acrylic nails for several months several years ago. When they were removed, my nails were in a similar condition to what I find them in today. They healed with time but the cause of the problem had been found and corrected. At first, my concern with this instance was one of esthetics but as the condition of my nails has worsened, I am more seriously concerned healthwise. Could my dieting be damaging my nails?
I have ridges and a dark ring above the strip of white at the end of the nail. The white is not as distinct a line as it used to be either . There are streaks running into the coloured part of the nail bed. When I awoke one morning, on one of the nails, the strip of white was twice it's usual length on one side. I don't know if I caught it in the night and pulled it or what but that side is now up from the nail bed farther than the rest of the same nail.
My nails continue to grow but are coming in very very thin and they are slightly tender to the touch.
I've read on-line that the dark ring could be from Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and/or Diabetes. I am currently experiencing CHF, and in the past 2 months have been in HF more than not. I am also a Type II Insulin Dependent Diabetic. Those two factors probably explain the ring. I've also read that the thinness, ridges, cracking, etc. can be from a lack of Biotine and while they don't have a firm recommendation on how much one should take, the author figured about 30 mg a day. Daily I take a multi vitamin for women over age 50 and Vitalux, a vitamin for healthy eyes. These 2 vitamin pills give me a total of 90 mg daily. So, I'm stumped. I don't think that can be the problem.
Could my dieting be damaging my nails? One of the articles I read on-line said that ridges can be caused by poor nutrition or malnutrition. I do have Crohn's Disease and most likely do not get all the vitamins and minerals I need from my foods, hence the supplements I take – those mentioned above as well as A, Acidophilus with Biffida, B6, B50, Calcium (lots of Calcium), D (lots of D), Cranberry, Glucosamine Chondroitin, Lutein, Magnesium, and Q10 Coensyme. The diet I have been following has lots of water, 100 grams of vegetables (there are numerous green and yellow ones to choose from), 100 grams of lean meats (eg. lean steak, white chicken, white fish), a slice of Melba Toast, and a fruit, all of which are to be eaten at each meal. What it does not have are dairy, starches and sweets, or processed foods. The diet also has supplements for Potassium and B12. I don't take the B12 because due to surgery I had in 1995 for my Crohn's Disease I no longer have the section of bowel that processes B12 and I therefore have to have a B12 shot monthly.
I used to eat a fair bit of sugar-free Jello. I haven't been having that lately because in monitoring my sodium intake daily, I learned that it contains 70 gr. of sodium per serving. I also learned on-line that gelatin contains MSG – a definite No No for me. I have to keep my intake of sodium below 1200 mg a day and while 70 doesn't sound like much in comparison, pretty much everything but fruit seems to have sodium in it and it adds up very very quickly. Perhaps I need to give up an alternative of some sort and start eating gelatin products again.
For self treatment, I'm using a Nail Thickener by Sally Hansen and a 4 in 1 Treatment by Witchcraft. I have been applying it daily and only removing it with polish remover once a week as that can be damaging to the nails. I have an appointment with my Nurse Practitioner (I don't have a family doctor) but that is some time away yet. I thought I'd do this Blog and see if anyone has any ideas or suggestions. Thoughts anyone?